I love you, but I’m not here to be your best friend.
Don’t get me wrong I want us to be friends, the best of friends. I want you to confide in me when you get older. I want you to play with me until my withered old imagination gives out. I want us to do things together and make special memories. I want us to laugh and have inside jokes. I’m even down for a secret handshake or special code.
But, I’m still not here to be your best friend. At least not right now.
I see this attitude to expressed in so many ways. Parents wanting to be the cool parent. There’s one who takes them to risque or violent movies. There’s the one who invites your underage friends over to drink or smoke. There’s the parent who encourages co-ed sleepovers, the one who hosts the parties, the one who lets your eat anything you want, the one who lets you swear up a storm or provides you with all the things that will declare them the “cool parents”.
I’m not that parent.
I’m going to make you eat your vegetables, do your chores and have a bedtime. I’m going to say, “no” to certain events and activities. I’m probably even going to say, “no” to certain friends. You’re going to have expectations and responsibilities and there will be consequences to your actions. You’re probably going to get pretty mad at me and it will be hard to understand why you have a parent that is different from the rest.
However, right now I’m not here to be your best friend. It’s not my job to be cool or turn my back so you can be like the other kids because I don’t want you to be like the other kids. I think you’re capable of so much more. I am here to guide you and shape you; to give you the knowledge, the faith and the tools you need to navigate a world that much too hung up on “cool”.
And one day, when you’re a little older and wiser, you will realize that your best friends weren’t the ones daring you to be reckless and careless. Your best friends were the ones helping you become the best version of yourself and when you realize this, I hope you will know that I was actually your best friend all along.